Nebraska football: Tanner Lee’s improvement not a myth

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 14: Quarterback Tanner Lee
LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 14: Quarterback Tanner Lee /

There was a time when it seemed the Nebraska football team should replace Tanner Lee at quarterback. Since then the signal caller has looked like the QB we hoped he would be.

The Nebraska football team is where it is thanks in large part to the season Tanner Lee has put up. That’s both a bad and a good thing.

The Huskers have seen just about the worst start to a season a quarterback from the team has ever started. Through the first three games, Lee threw five touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Those interceptions included far too many pick sixes. The season got a little worse against Rutgers when he threw two more touchdowns but he also threw two more interceptions. Since that game, however, Lee really has been putting together a better season.

In the last three games, the most positive change in Lee has been the way he’s been protecting the ball. Against Illinois, Wisconsin and Ohio State, the Huskers quarterback has six touchdown passes and just one interception.

That one pick was hardly the QB’s fault, considering the interception was a little pass that could have gone for a touchdown if Devine Ozigbo hadn’t bobbled it and allowed Wisconsin to grab it and head the other way.

While the downturn in interceptions is one positive, it’s been his increase in accuracy that should make Cornhusker fans excited, even if its only for a future that won’t get here until 2018. Over the last three contests, Lee is completing 62 percent of his passes.

Yes, that uptick in completion percentage has come while the team has suffered two truly terrible losses. The good and the bad news is that the losses are not because of Lee.

The same couldn’t be said in games against Oregon or Northern Illinois. It was his two interceptions returned for touchdowns and a completion percentage of just 53 percent that sunk the Cornhuskers against the Huskies.

As Lee has gotten better, the defense has gotten worse. That’s more than a little bit of a problem. The good news is that the Huskers only face one offense with a power attack comparable to either Wisconsin or Ohio State.

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Before they run into the buzzsaw that is Penn State they will get to play some teams with offensive problems of their own. The Nebraska football coaches have been saying Tanner Lee is showing improvement and they’re not wrong. Now that improvement needs to start translating to wins.